The Romantic

The Romantic

A Novel

Book - 2003
Average Rating:
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For lovers of literary fiction, The Romantic is Barbara Gowdy's utterly absorbing tale of love, longing, and loss. It is the story of Louise, whose former beautyqueen mother disappears one day, leaving a note that reads only--and incorrectly--"Louise knows how to work the washing machine." Louise promptly falls passionately in love with Mrs. Richter, the new neighbor, and then with Abel, Mrs. Richter's nature-loving, enigmatic son. Despite the fact that Abel moves away, Louise becomes more and more fixated on him, discovering that she cannot get Abel to love her as fiercely as she loves him. Only when she is forced to confront another great loss is she finally able to confront the costs of losing herself to another.

The Romantic is a powerful exploration of the many incarnations of love in all of its painful and joyful variations, a novel that glows with Barbara Gowdy's note-perfect style, gentle humor, and unforgettable characters.

Publisher: Toronto : HarperFlamingoCanada, c2003.
ISBN: 9780006392262
0006392261
9780002005050
0002005050
Characteristics: 371 p. ;,22 cm.

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WVMLStaffPicks Dec 30, 2014

You can always trust Barbara Gowdy to take a conventional story of doomed love and give it a vivid quirky twist. As a little girl, Louise becomes obsessed with Abel, the boy next door, and his over-bearing mother. Louise’s own beauty queen mother walks out the door one day and leaves her daughter looking and longing for love. The tender sensitive young Abel grows into a self-destructive alcoholic man who can only offer Louise a fractured and painful love. It is a haunting story full of exquisite moments that offer insight into the most passionate forms of love.

d
DalysJ
Feb 08, 2011

Did not enjoy this book at all. Pretty much just a bleak story from cover to cover.

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